Earlier today we reported that Transformers 4 has been tentatively slated by Paramount and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura for a  June 29th, 2014 release date.

In our original piece we confirmed the release window; however, as the day progressed, a few more enticing tidbits saw the light of day – including new basic details regarding how the fourth Transformers installment will tie-in with prior entries as well as confirmation that director Michael Bay will return to helm the blockbuster.

According to an official press release at Bay’s official website, MichaelBay.com, the director has signed-on for a two picture deal with Paramount that will bring both his passion project, Pain & Gainas well as the fourth Transformers film to the big screen. Whether or not Bay will shoot number four back to back with the inevitable Transformers 5 is, apparently, still up in the air (or at least unconfirmed) – and is NOT, at this time, part of the two picture deal.

Earlier in the day, while speaking to MTV, Bonaventura was pretty forthcoming about some other Transformers 4 – details – first restating the 2014 release, then debunking rumors of a Jason Statham lead character, as well as using Marc Webb’s upcoming Marvel reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, as a point of reference in order to describe what NOT to expect from the next Transformers film – which the producer has described as somewhat of a “reboot.”

Check out the full interview below to hear where things stand with Transformers 4 at this point, at least according to Bonaventura:

So, basically – here are the four biggest points Bonaventura addresses:

  • Transformers 4 will release in 2014 as reported.
  • Further confirmation that Michael Bay will direct.
  • No characters have been decided at this point – since the script isn’t even written (though expect heavy-hitters like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee to return).
  • The next film will introduce an all-new storyline but continue the existing continuity.

The fan-favorite producer’s comments do seem to corroborate earlier speculation that Paramount was keen on having Bay return – even if it meant bumping the fourth installment back one year (when compared to the release schedule for the first three films 2007, 2009, 2011 and [now] 2014) so that the director could finish-off his smaller passion projects (such as the aforementioned Pain & Gain).

Similarly, given the amount of closure presented in the third film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which included major character deaths and an action-packed (how will they top that?) third chapter, it makes sense that the next film in the series will present somewhat of a series “reset.” Bay and the writers can use a fresh slate to clear-out some of the existing franchise material that bogged the last film down (such as incorporating a Sam Witwicky character arc) as well as offer-up new bad guys and hero bots. Anyone still scratching their heads as to what the producer means by a “reboot” need only look to Bonaventura’s upcoming G.I. Joe sequel, Retaliation, which essentially continues the story set-up in the first film – while at the same time dramatically cleaning house.

That said, as Bonaventura asserts, don’t expect the team to simply abandon the established continuity. Could this mean that, in order for them to up the ante once again, we’ll soon be introduced to some of the franchise’s more ambitious additions – such as Unicron, Metroplex, Galvatron, or even the Dinobots? Given that there’s no story at this point, what the future holds for the franchise is anyone’s guess – though, with Bay back in the director’s chair, fans of the film series should definitely be able to look forward to some truly epic action in 2014.

Transformers 4 will hit theaters on June 29th, 2014

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates.

Source: Michael Bay and MTV